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Infrastructures

In recent years, awareness of infrastructures has been building to a remarkable degree in virtually every area. The information infrastructure which subtends the revolutionary new forms of sociability, science, scholarship and business is one example. A second is the state of roads, bridges, dams, and other large, expensive, long-term investments as our national and international infrastructures fall into disrepair. A third is the energy infrastructures, both old (fossil fuels) and new (renewables), that subtend the world economy. A few centers of important scholarship on infrastructures have emerged, such as large technical systems theory (history of technology), urban infrastructures (urban planning, geography), and information infrastructures (information studies, computer-supported cooperative work). Yet too much of this work has been siloed, focusing only on a particular system or scale, and with few exceptions it has remained sequestered within some of the smaller academic fields. Finally, remarkably little work has been done on the comparative study of infrastructures: taking lessons from one field and modifying it for another. Publications in Infrastructures seek to engage with broad theories of infrastructure and foreground the usually hidden aspects of infrastructures, be they material, informational, or structural.

Transantiago, Human Devices, and the Dream of a World-Class Society

An examination of how human beings are brought into the planning of complex infrastructure projects, through analysis of a controversial public transportation project.

Working with Leigh Star

The multifaceted work of the late Susan Leigh Star is explored through a selection of her writings and essays by friends and colleagues.

Digital Transformations of the Sciences and Humanities

An examination of the ways that digital and networked technologies have fundamentally changed research practices in disciplines from astronomy to literary analysis.

How a Box Changes the Way We Think

A cultural history of the shipping container as a crucible of globalization and a cultural paradigm.

A Shadow History of the Internet

What spam is, how it works, and how it has shaped online communities and the Internet itself.

Politics, Ecology, and Infrastructure at the Panama Canal

A historical and ethnographic study of the conflict between global transportation and rural development as the two intersect at the Panama Canal.

Public Knowledge about Radiation Health Effects after Chernobyl

Lessons from the massive Chernobyl nuclear accident about how we deal with modern hazards that are largely imperceptible.

Cross-Cultural Knowledge Exchange and the Politics of Design
Edited by James Leach and Lee Wilson

Explorations of design, use, and reuse of information technology in diverse historical and cultural contexts.

Recursive Partnerships and Infrastructures

An examination of emerging information infrastructures that are intended to increase accountability and effectiveness in partnerships for development aid.

Recipes for Reality

An investigation into standards, the invisible infrastructures of our technical, moral, social, and physical worlds.

Sharing Resources and Risks across Borders
Edited by Nil Disco and Eda Kranakis

A new approach in commons theory to understand the interactions of technology, society, and nature, supported by case studies of new transnational European commons.

Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming

The science behind global warming, and its history: how scientists learned to understand the atmosphere, to measure it, to trace its past, and to model its future.

Edited by Lisa Gitelman

Episodes in the history of data, from early modern math problems to today’s inescapable “dataveillance,” that demonstrate the dependence of data on culture.